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Barbecue Season Offers Opportunity to Drawn Down Excess Stocks of Frozen Meat

by 5m Editor
15 June 2006, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2166. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2166

Analysts are counting on the 2006 barbecue season to help draw down some unexpectedly high inventories of meat, particularly beef and poultry, in the US.

According to figures released last week by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food US pork stocks in cold storage as of April 30 rose almost three percent from one month earlier but fell over eight percent from year earlier figures.

However, at the same time, poultry stocks increased by almost two percent from the previous month and nearly 13 percent from 2005 while beef inventories were just over one percent higher than the previous month but more that 30 percent higher than one year earlier.

Rabobank International vice president food and agribusiness research Fiona Boal blames a combination of factors, the main one being an increase in production across the board of all the major meat types and a secondary factor being continuing disruptions on the export market.

"We're in a very unique situation at the moment. We have particularly beef and poultry has got cold storage stocks here in the US are much higher than we would normally see them this time of year.

We've seen the poultry industry go through somewhat of a turbulent few months although exports and prices for poultry have recovered over recent weeks. And the same situation with beef.

We still have some market restrictions into Asia and, with increasing production, it's not unusual for stocks to be going up in that sort of environment.

Coming into the traditional barbecue season here in the US we do hope that some of those stocks will be reduced over the next couple of months but that remains to be seen."

Boal observes, with summer, we normally see demand for all meat types start to pick up and she notes beef prices have already shown some recovery on the back of that demand while poultry prices have also shown some recovery.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

5m Editor